Gepost door: dejister | 6 augustus 2011

De curieuze preek van Alexander Whyte

Alexander Whyte (1836 – 1921) was een Schotse dominee en theoloog. Hij was beroemd om zijn zogenaamde dramatische instinct, zeg maar een singuliere gave, en dat heeft hem in een preek gedreven tot een wel zeer bijzondere vergelijking, die in die tijd -zo wil het voorwoord bij zijn preken- zeker zou zijn geschrapt. Wellicht gaat zijn dramatische schema via Shakespeare, toch is de verweving van Caesar en Jezus zeer bijzonder te noemen. Las hij Froude?  Het voorwoord:

“The intellectual and spiritual effect was almost overwhelming the morning he preached on our Lord’s prayer in Gethsemane. Dwelling for a moment on the seamless robe, with “the blood of the garden, and of the pillar” upon it, he suddenly broke off into the passage from Julius Caesar:

You all do know this mantle: I remember The first time Caesar ever put it on.

It was a daring experiment—did ever any other preacher link these two passages together?—but in Dr. Whyte’s hands extraordinarily moving. The sermon closed with a great shout, “Now let it work!” and his hearers, as they came to the Communion Table that morning, must have been of one heart and mind in the prayer that in them the Cross of Christ should not be “made of none effect.”

Hier een deel van zijn curieuze preek:

“What a coat was that for which the soldiers cast their lots! It was without seam, but,—all the nitre and soap they could wash it with,—the blood of the garden and of the pillar was so marked upon it, that it would not come out of it. What became, I wonder, of that “dyed” garment? and all that “red apparel”?

If you have tears, prepare to shed them now. You all do know this mantle: I remember The first time Caesar ever put it on; ‘Twas on a summer evening, in his tent, That day he overcame the Nervii:—Look, in this place ran Cassius’ dagger through: See what a rent the envious Casca made: Through this the well-beloved Brutus stabbed; And, as he plucked his cursed steel away, Mark, how the blood of Caesar followed it, . . . Then burst his mighty heart: And, in his mantle muffling up his face,— Even at the base of Pompey’s statue, Which all the while ran blood—great Caesar fell. O, what a fall was there, my countrymen! . . . Now let it work.

And as Peter preached on the day of Pentecost, he lifted up the seamless robe he knew so well: and, spreading it out in all its rents and all its bloodspots, he charged his hearers, and said: “Him ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain. . . . Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.”

“O piteous spectacle! O noble Caesar! O woeful day! O most bloody sight! Most noble Caesar, we’ll revenge His death! O royal Caesar! Here was a Caesar! When comes such another? Now let it work!”

And, one way it will surely work is this,—to teach us to pray, as He prayed. “And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place,”—most probably Gethsemane,—“when He ceased, one of His disciples said unto Him, Lord, teach us to pray!”

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